Steel manufacturing firm fined by HSE after tank falls on worker

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has prosecuted a steel manufacturing company in Gainsborough after one of its employees was crushed by a three-tonne process tank.

The firm Wefco (Gainsborough) Ltd of Britannia Works in Spring Gardens was fined a total of £15,000 and ordered to pay court costs of £5,000 after the tank fell on employee Edward Baxter, 29, in March 2008. The process tank was being lifted via an overhead crane at the time of the incident, when a temporary lifting bracket came off and the tank plummeted to the ground, landing on Mr Baxter.

Mr Baxter, who lives in Scunthorpe, suffered a fractured leg and ankle, multiple fractures to his spine, ribs and pelvis, and head injuries as a result of the incident.

At Lincoln Crown Court, Wefco (Gainsborough) Ltd was found to have breached the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and ordered to pay the fines and costs.

HSE Inspector Steve Woods highlighted the importance of adequate health and safety training in situations such as this one, saying:

“An incident like this demonstrates how vital it is that safe working procedures are communicated to and understood by people who carry out such lifting tasks.
Supervision is also imperative and managers need to monitor the workplace of employees to ensure that safe working procedures are being followed and corners are not being cut.”